The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a very busy film. Whether you thought it was for better or worse, there is no denying that the film closes as many doors as it opens. After everything that happens, it leaves our hero in a strange position with countless possibilities of where the story can go.
With the Sinister Six and Venom films on the way, clearly Sony has the path all laid out. Still, specific details are scarce. Where does Spidey go from here?
Like I said previously, there are numerous threads that are laid in this film, that give us hints of what may be in store for the future of the franchise. We’ll take a look at some of those now, to see where me might see Spidey go, moving forward.
Fair warning now, there are spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starting right… now.
Can Peter Parker Ever Love Again?
Long time fans and comic book readers will not be surprised by the shocking climax in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The death of Gwen Stacy is one of the most important moments in the history of Spider-Man, if not the moment that defines Spider-Man for the rest of his life. It almost had to happen.
While in other superhero stories, a romantic sub-plot may feel shoehorned for more emotional resonance, Peter Parker is a character who has always been defined by his human relationships. And, when partnered with a director like Marc Webb, whose specialty is crafting believable, genuinely sentimental relationships, it would seem only natural for Sony to want to continue developing Peter’s romantic interests.
The most obvious move would be to introduce Mary Jane Watson, who up until recently was meant to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, portrayed by Shailene Woodley but was cut from the final film. In this film, though, we also meet Harry Osborn’s assistant, who is only called “Felicia,” but is obviously long time Spider-Man character Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat.
Black Cat is a character who Spidey has never had a real relationship with, but one whom he has shared his bed with in his darker moments; and it is undeniable that Spidey is in a dark place when Amazing Spider-Man 2 concludes.
The Sinister Six
The filmmakers have in no way made it a secret that they were building towards the Sinister Six. The Sinister Six, for the uninitiated, is the gathering of many of Spider-Man’s greatest foes into one supervillain team. They hinted at it almost non-stop in trailers and production stills leading up to the release of Amazing Spider-Man 2, and even went a step further and announced a standalone film for the team, written and directed by Drew Goddard.
But here’s the problem: how do you make a film about some of the most vile villains, crafting a story where you want to watch them do their thing, and even root for them? Plus, Andrew Garfield is only contractually obligated to star in one more Spider-Man film, presumably The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Can you have an assembly of Spider-Man’s greatest foes, and not involve Spider-Man? It is absolutely possible, and all it takes is a look at what Marvel is doing in comics right now, but it will still be very tricky.
“The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” is an ongoing comic book by writer Nick Spencer, that centers on the Sinister Six. The hook? This Sinister Six is made up of some of Spider-Man’s most silly and incompetent foes; Boomerang, Beetle, Overdrive, Shocker, and Speed Demon. And no, you didn’t count wrong, there are only 5 members of this Sinister Six. That alone should tell you a lot about the tone of this story; it’s a really humorous series about these bumbling buffoons trying to make it as supervillains.
It would be very interesting to see Sony take this route, and I think it might even be likely, given writer/director Drew Goddard’s nature of constantly making films that subvert our expectations, as he did with Cloverfield and The Cabin in the Woods. It would also give the company a chance to conclude Peter Parker’s story with Andrew Garfield in Amazing Spider-Man 3, defeating the real Sinister Six (Rhino, Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Vulture, and Doc Ock), thus ending the Oscorp storyline, and bringing this iteration of Peter Parker’s story to close.
Peter Parker without Andrew Garfield?
As said before, Andrew Garfield is only contractually obligated for one more film, The Amazing Spider-Man 3. The actor has shown little to no interest in carrying on with the character beyond that. However, Sony has already set a release date for The Amazing Spider-Man 4. So how do you continue a Spider-Man franchise beyond Peter Parker? It would actually be a lot easier than you think, with numerous potential options.
The most obvious move, given Sony’s already announced release calendar, would be to move the spotlight onto Venom, given that his own standalone film has also been confirmed. The original Venom, Eddie Brock, although primarily a villain, did have brief forays into vigilantism. It would be a sensible move to establish Eddie Brock and his struggle with the alien symbiote in the standalone film, and be able to control it somewhat by the end. Then, we could perhaps see Eddie Brock become the new Spider-Man in the fourth film.
It would throw a wrench into this idea, though, if Sony decided to instead adapt the modern version of Venom to the big screen. Currently in the comic books, the Venom symbiote has been acquired by the US government and given to Flash Thompson; the bully that tormented Peter in high school. After high school, Flash joins the military, becomes a much more mature character, and ends up being one of Peter’s best friends. While deployed, Flash is involved in a firefight, and loses both of his legs because of it. It is then that the government approaches Flash about becoming what would eventually be called “Agent Venom,” telling Flash that bonding with the symbiote would give him the ability to walk again. Flash agrees, bonds with the symbiote, and goes on high flying adventures as a militarized version of Spider-Man.
So what if Venom does not become the new Spider-Man? What happens then? That brings us to the final point I want to bring up, and perhaps the biggest mystery in this franchise that has yet to be paid off, and one of the most bizarre possibilities for the future:
The Man in the Shadows
In both Amazing Spider-Man films so far, we’ve seen a shadowy man appear, and have still been given no indication as to who the man is (beyond Harry calling him Mr. Fiers). In the first film, he appears after the credits, appearing only to ask Dr. Connors how much Peter knew about his father’s research. Then, he appears in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 towards the end, helping Harry Osborn begin forming the Sinister Six. Who is this man, and what are his motivations?
It is possible, and even likely, that this man is none other than Miles Warren, the villain known as the Jackal. The Jackal’s origin story fits rather perfectly into the mythos these films have been building; he was a biologist and teacher, at one time teaching Peter and Gwen. His specialties are in genetics and cloning. At one point he clones himself, and fuses the DNA of an actual jackal into the process, giving him features and abilities of the real animal. This fits in well with the idea of cross species genetics that the first film introduced. It would make sense in the plot of these films for him to be working closely with Oscorp, who was funding the research into cross species genetics.
The most notable act in the Jackal’s history is creating two clones of Peter Parker; Ben Reilly and Kaine. Ben Reilly became his own hero, the Scarlet Spider, for some time, before temporarily taking the mantle of Spider-Man in Peter’s absence. At the time this was a very controversial plotline for fans, but over the years it has gained more favor, with Ben Reilly becoming a fan favorite character. Adapting a version of this story for the screen would be a very ballsy and ambitious move on Sony’s part, and would provide a very natural furthering of the Spider-Man story beyond the lifespan of Peter Parker.
So, if The Amazing Spider-Man 4 gets a title change to Scarlet Spider down the road, don’t be completely surprised, but maybe be a little excited instead. But, yeah, still be generally surprised.
To close, it’s very obvious why Sony feels that they can develop their own mini-universe anchored solely by Spider-Man. He is one of comics’ oldest, and most well developed characters, with a cast of supporting characters with stories just as rich. There is so much great material in Spider-Man’s history rife for adaptation to the big screen, and almost countless different directions to take the character.
They could venture into new places, and bring to the forefront some of the character’s more obscure and complex storylines, or tread through familiar territory, and use the stories and character we have learned to love over the years. Only one thing is certain; the wallcrawler is here to stay for the long-run. As long the webhead continues to be his quippy, lovable self, we’ll keep trekking out to see his newest adventures on the big screen, to see where his story takes us next.